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End of an Era - Moving off of Speedlites


As with many here, I have been experiencing the dropped link issues with the 600-series flashes.  I was also not too thrilled with the much higher cost of the EL-1 units.  After all, I have a total of six Speedlites (600 EX-RT) and to replace them would be costly.

I just received my first Profoto light today.  The B10X Plus.   But before I go into details, I wanted to share my journey with the Canon flashes.  Which for the most part was extremely enjoyable!

In 2013, I had picked up my first DLSR (Rebel T4i) and I believe I had caught a presentation by Syl Arena on B&H's event space channel on YouTube. I immediately purchased a 430 EX II along with a 3-foot cable to start working with off-camera flash (albeit, within 3 feet).  I was hooked.  Also picked up Syl's books.

In 2014, I had the opportunity to attend a workshop in my area presented by Canon Explorers of Light Stephen Eastwood and Bob Davis.  Before that workshop, I had moved to the EOS 6D along with having the two-light flash kit with transmitter (600 EX-RT units and ST-E3-RT).  After the workshop, I had planned on adding more lights.

Over the next few years, I had added a third light, then fourth.  But in wanting to use larger modifiers, I picked up another two.  This would allow me to still have a three light setup.  Where one light involved ganging up four of the Speedlites together.

Now then, I don't shoot professionally at all.  But on occasion, I would think up some project and set up the lights.

This past May is when I first experienced the dropped links when outside.  Perhaps I would have earlier, but I typically did projects in my basement and for 2022, I really didn't do much with them.

When it was time to invest in a new system, I decided that it was time to move to monolights.  Tech has really caught up and there are several battery-powered monolights these days.  I always missed out on having a modeling light, so that is something I really wanted.

Also, I wanted much more power.  Setting up the four speedlights together is a pain and it then leads me to only having two other flashes to put elsewhere.  Attemping to have even lighting on my backdrop also typically took four lights.

And, I wanted a system where I could have a solid gel solution.  It's something I really enjoy working with.  The original 600-EX RT units had a clear gel holder.  And I ended up making a ton of custom gels for it from a Rosco sample gel booklet.   The 2nd-gen 600-EX RT units dropped the clear holder and the head was slightly larger.

After much research, decided to move to Profo.   What follows are results of a quick test in comparing a single B10X Plus to four 600-EX RTs.

Profoto setupProfoto setup

For my setup, I used a Westcott 43" Deep white umbrella where its opening was exactly 4 feet away from the mannequin's forehead.  Shown above is the Profoto light with the modeling light engaged.

And below is the Canon setup.  Same modifier and distance.


All images below taken with a EOS 5D IV and 135mm f/2 L lens.

The left-side image here was taken with the Profoto B10X Plus at full power.  Camera settings of f/16, 1/200 s and ISO 100.   The right-side image was taken with the four Canon flashes all at full power.  I had them zoomed to 24mm and had the diffusion panel engaged.   I needed to open the lens to f/11 to get the same exposure.


And here is another pair.  The left-side is the same f/11 shot with the Canon flashes.  And the right-hand one is also with the Canon flashes with f/11.  But, I disenaged the diffusion panels and zoomed the flashes to 200mm (So as to have their highest guide number).  However, this ended up not filling the umbrella very well.


In terms of raw power, the B10X Plus is the equivalent of eight 600-EX-RTs! Awesome!  Going forward, for additional units, will most likely go with the B10X models which would each be the equivalent of four 600-EX-RTs.

Even though I had my camera set to 5500 K for all images taken, the Profoto image looks a tad bit more warm which I like.  I'll have to later capture a color chart to see how much of a shift.  Or, perhaps I'm just so used to the Canon flash images that I haven't noticed them being a tad cooler?

Finally, during this very short test, I didn't experience any link drops with the Canon flashes as I did about a week or so ago now.  So it all seems very random.

No link drops at all with the Profoto gear so far.


Camera: EOS 5D IV, EF 50mm f/1.2L, EF 135mm f/2L
Lighting: Profoto Lights & Modifiers



I feel your pain. 

5 600’s and 2 ST Transmitters all worked flawlessly in any environment from Day 1 in May of 2012 until January of 23 when “Link Drop” inflated my one home. 
Canon only “Speculates” Interference. 


No doubt, it's some kind of interference.   To this day, still no communications issues at all with the Profoto light.  A very expensive brand, but really liking their system.

Happy to be able to just work on projects without drops.  Hope that they'll either be a solution for your Canon lights, or you're able to also move to a different brand where things just work.


Camera: EOS 5D IV, EF 50mm f/1.2L, EF 135mm f/2L
Lighting: Profoto Lights & Modifiers